Sport: Municipal 2020: justice cancels an election on the grounds of abstention, attributed to coronavirus

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The winning list obtained, on March 15, only three votes more than the absolute majority to win in the first round. According to justice, the health context has dissuaded part of the electorate from going to vote.

Will this cancellation lead to others? The inhabitants of the commune of Malville, in Loire-Atlantique, were surprised to learn that the Nantes administrative court had canceled the election of their municipal and community councilors, due to the abstention attributed to the coronavirus (55, 37%), reported the daily Ouest-France on Saturday July 11. The 2,494 voters will have to return to the polls to elect their mayor and councilors.

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According to the results of the first round, the list of Martine Lejeune came in first with 50.32% of the votes, followed by Magali Janvier with 25.98% of the votes. The latter filed an appeal a few weeks later, saying "that the very important abstention linked to the health crisis has undermined the fairness of the ballot".

A conjecture visibly validated by the court, which motivates its cancellation decision by the fact that "the abstention rate, which amounts to 55.37%, was much higher than during the previous municipal election ( 34.95%) ". According to him, the "health context" and "messages broadcast by the government in the days before the vote" to prevent the spread of the virus "dissuaded a significant part of voters from going to the polling station".

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The court also pointed out that the winning list "obtained only three votes more than the absolute majority which determined victory in the first round". Added to the abstention rate, the judges thus consider that the "sincerity" of the result is in question.

Municipal elections 2020: story of a campaign under the sign of the coronavirus “I expected more impartiality”

“I expected more impartiality because all the municipalities of France were impacted by the Covid and abstention was even stronger in the second round, ”reacted to Ouest-France the new councilor, who announced that she would appeal. An appeal against the decision of the administrative court was lodged with the Council of State within one month. Elected officials remain in place pending a new decision.

The losing candidate, for her part, said herself "a little surprised by this decision", but ready to campaign again. "We found this election unfair without calling into question the votes for Ms. Lejeune," she explains to Ouest-France. I know that our electorate did not come because people were afraid. Many told me on the phone during confinement.

The regional daily stresses that a short distance from Malville a similar appeal in another commune has been rejected by the same court. The judges concluding, conversely, "that the unusual abstention generated by the particular context in which the poll was held" was "in the circumstances of the case, such as to alter its sincerity and to distort the results of the election ”.

In the second round of the municipal elections, record abstention and ecological breakthrough

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